When PEOPLE.com asked readers to enter its inaugural Worst to Best Dressed contest, the results were amazing. More than 1,000 women wrote in, asking us to help them out of their style ruts. Out of 10 finalists, Jennifer Burden of Hermitage, Tenn., was voted the Worst Dressed Woman in America, based on her heartwarming video plea.
As the contest winner, Burden received a $3,000 fashion makeover from PEOPLE with celebrity stylist Jorge Ramén, host of TLC’s hit 10 Years Younger. The mission was simple: “I wanted to give Jennifer confidence,” says Ramén. “And make her the hottest mommy ever.”
Burden, who has three children with husband Jason, 34, a systems administrator, was still wearing maternity clothes nearly two years after her last pregnancy. “I just gave up,” says the 34-year-old. “I focused so much on making sure my family looked good, I didn’t spend any time on myself.”
In fact, her wardrobe situation was so bad, she’d refuse invites to parties. “I tried to avoid going out at all costs,” she says.
Hitting Nashville’s The Mall at Green Hills, Ramé and Burden aimed to change that. They started with swapping maternity tops for fitted blouses,” though she admits, “I wasn’t used to having the clothes so close to my body.” After a 13-hour spree, Burden came home with more than 30 new outfits and a new attitude.
“I feel beautiful,” she says. “I can’t wait to show off my new style.”
Jorge’s Tips: What You Can Learn from Jennifer’s PEOPLE Makeover
• Ignore sizes. “Jennifer insisted she was a size 14 but discovered that a 12 fit in some brands,” says Ramén. “You can miss out on great finds if you are a slave to size.”
• Play up your best features. “Who knew Jennifer was hiding a waist under all those big clothes?” says Ramén. “A wrap or ruched-waist dress nips at her smallest part. The rest flows over her curves, de-emphasizing a larger bottom.”
• Get fitted for a bra. “Jennifer hadn’t been measured in three years,” says Ramén. “This is critical if you’ve had kids, or your body has changed. The right bra affects how well an outfit drapes on you.”